Parts Usually Used
Lavender is a bushy, branching shrub, whose lower branches are woody, although the young stems are herbaceous. It grows to a maximum height of three feet. Stems and leaves are covered with fine grey hairs. The evergreen leaves are silvery grey, eight times as long as wide, up to two inches in length, linear, smooth edged, and opposite. The flowers are produced on terminating, wiry blunt spikes 6-8 inches long, and grow in whorls of 6-8 flowers, subtended by short pointed bracts. The calyx is purple-grey, tubular, with thirteen veins and five lobes, one of which is slightly larger than the others. The small purple-blue flowers have four stamens and a tubular corolla with two lips: the upper lip has two lobes and the lower lip three. Examination of the corolla with a hand lens shows a dense covering of stellate hairs and small shiny oil glands. It is most often identified by its fragrant, characteristic odour. Flowers June to September.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of genotypes, all with subtle and sometimes great genetic variation, both in the morphology and the chemical composition of the essential oil.
Antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, cholagogue, diuretic, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, relaxant, antibacterial, antiseptic.
In the past, lavender has been used as a folk remedy for numerous conditions, including acne, cancer, colic, faintness, flatulence, giddiness, migraine, nausea, neuralgia, nervous headache, nervous palpitations, poor appetite, pimples, rheumatism, sores, spasms, sprains, toothache, vomiting and worms. Lavender salts have been employed for centuries as a stimulant to prevent fainting; lavender oil vapor is traditionally inhaled to prevent vertigo and fainting. Tests show that lavender’s essential oil is a potent ally in destroying a wide range of bacterial infections, including staph, strep, pneumonia, and most flu viruses. It is also strongly anti-fungal. A lavender-flower douche is an effective treatment for vaginal infections, especially candida-type yeast infections. Lavender ointments are rubbed into burns, bruises, varicose veins, and other skin injuries. The straight oil is dabbed on stops the itching of insect bites.
Avoid high doses during pregnancy because it is a uterine stimulant.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 March 2010 11:55|